News from the President

Dr. Michele Haney, President

April 2019

When I Rise I Thrive Author Panel

Photo credit: Alex Gladsjo - RRCC student photographer


When I Rise I Thrive Author Panel

On April 4, Red Rocks Community College hosted an author panel featuring five authors from the bestselling book, When I Rise I Thrive, including RRCC student Dina Gilmore. Each author shared their personal stories of struggle and healing, with hopes to inspire the audience to do the same. Following the reading, the authors participated in a Q&A session and a book signing.


National Veteran Honor Society


SALUTE National Veteran Honor Society Induction Ceremony

On April 5, the SALUTE Veterans National Honor Society held an induction ceremony for Red Rocks Community College students who are veterans enrolled in at least 12 credit hours and have maintained a 3.0 or higher GPA. The student veterans that are graduating also received red, white, and blue honor cords.


Gateway Arvada Ridge Ribbon Cutting


Gateway Arvada Ridge Ribbon Cutting

Gateway Arvada Ridge Apartments held a ribbon cutting ceremony on April 8 with Red Rocks Community College in attendance. The apartments are located across the street from the Arvada Campus and are offering application and move-in specials for all Red Rocks Community College students, faculty, and staff.





President of the Year and Rising Star Awards

The Colorado Community College System honored Dr. Michele Haney with the President of the Year award on April 9. The Colorado Community College System also honored James Cook and Sarah Kidder, two students of Red Rocks Community College,with the Rising Star award.


Commitment to Excellence Awards

The Colorado Community College System held the inaugural Commitment to Excellence Award Ceremony on April 10 at the Governors Residence. The four awarded RRCC recipients were Mike Coste, Janet Tarase, Greg Berry, and Walter Shreibman.


Theatre Fundraising Event


Theatre Fundraising Event

On April 12, the Red Rocks Community College Theatre and Dance Department hosted a fundraising event for the students selected to attend the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in February. While at the competition, the students were selected to attend the prestigious Stella Adler Studio of Acting over the summer. All proceeds donated at the event were received by the Red Rocks Community College Foundation in support of the Theatre students. If you would like to donate, please visit Please indicate in the notes section that your donation is for the Theatre Arts Department or the KCACTF Fundraiser.


The Amazing Race


The Amazing Race

Red Rocks Community College hosted 30 deaf and hard of hearing students who participated in "The Amazing Race" on March 12. This was an opportunity for students to become familiar with our campus. Students visited multiple departments such as Accessibility Services, Assessment, Bookstore, Campus Police, Learning Commons, Library, Admissions/Advising, The Hub, and Student Life. As part of the event, students visited each location on campus to collect information and received clues as to what the next stop might be.


Two deaf celebrities made appearances at the event: Kenny Walker, who played for the Denver Broncos from 1991-92, and Luke Adams, who was a contestant on the television show The Amazing Race 14.


March 2019

Rigoberta Menchu Tum visit

Peace Jam | Rigoberta Menchu Tum

Red Rocks Community College hosted the PeaceJam Rocky Mountain Youth Leadership Conference and Community Gathering March 16th – 18th called, “We Walk Together”. Mentors taught youth participants to take action in making positive impacts on the world through fun workshops. It began on Friday with Nobel Prize Winner Rigoberta Menchu Tum as the honored guest speaker, who held a conference just for staff and RRCC students at the Lakewood Campus followed by a Q&A session. On Saturday, Rigoberta spoke to hundreds of students ranging from 3rd – 12th grade, college mentors, community leaders, and partners, in inviting the Colorado community to walk together to create a more unified approach to solving the problems we face. The weekend was filled with leadership training, a service project in partnership with The GrowHaus , a community gathering with local leaders, student, and Native American youth dance performances, and a world peace flag ceremony to begin the “We Walk Together” campaign for Colorado.


Dr Ryan Ross

Visit | Dr. Ryan Ross

Dr. Ryan Ross, Associate Vice-Chancellor of Student Affairs, Equity and Inclusion, visited the Lakewood and Arvada campuses of Red Rocks Community College on March 20. While at Lakewood, he was given a tour that included the Idea Lab, Fine Woodworking workshop, the Hub Center for Engagement and Innovation, and the Student Rec Center He was able to meet with the Executive Team, the Director of Inclusion and Diversity, the Student Success Leadership Team, and the Food and Housing Insecurity Task Force at the Lakewood Campus. He then went on to the Arvada Campus for a tour and met with key campus administrators.


Guided pathways

Navigate | First Phase Launch

On March 6, Red Rocks Community College launched Navigate in conjunction with Guided Pathways to help current and new students find the path that is right for them. Navigate is a tool students are able to use to explore different career options, meet with their program specific advisor, and set long term goals to help them graduate without wasting money or time on classes they don’t need for their desired degree.



Awards | Endowed Teaching Chair

Congratulations to Elyse Marsh! On March 22, she was named the Red Rocks Community Colleges Endowed Teaching Chair. Elyse is the 25th recipient of the Mike Leprino Family Endowed Teaching Chair awarded by our Foundation office. At RRCC, we believe that student success is directly influenced by faculty excellence. We strive to deliver an exceptional educational experience to all students by recruiting, recognizing, and rewarding exceptional faculty. The RRCC Foundation Teaching Chair Program is the only multi-year faculty award in the Colorado Community College System. It is a meaningful way of recognizing and award outstanding faculty. The Mike Leprino Family and Coors Brewing Company endowed the first two chairs in 2001.



Awards | Cyber Security Regional Competition

Red Rocks Community College Cyber Team took 2nd place in the region at the Rocky Mountain Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (RMCCDC). They represented the school with honor and integrity. The RRCC Cyber Team were the first ones in and last ones out of every meeting and proudly announced that they represented Red Rocks Community College. They fell short only to Utah Valley University (who took 1st), but beat University of Colorado Boulder, Colorado State University, University of New Mexico, Regis, Pikes Peak Community College, and LDS Business College. Making them the best team to come out of Colorado while other teams had graduate level students. The team trained very hard for months in the IDEA Lab and their hard work paid off. We are very proud of them. Congratulations to our Cyber Defense Team!


Girls in Science

STEAM | Girls and Science

On March 2, Red Rocks Community College partnered with the Denver Museum of Nature and Science to support Girls and Science. This event was created to connect k-12 students with STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) areas of study. Red Rocks Community College educators Delia Ochoa and Barbra Sobhani were two of the guest speakers for Stories with Scientists at the event, attended by 7,400 Colorado residents.


February 2019

Rest & Relaxation (R&R) Lounge

R&R Lounge | Student Rec Center

Red Rocks Community College is constantly exploring innovative ideas and solutions to help our students and staff grow and succeed. We know that college life can be exhausting, so the Student Rec Center and the Student Success team implemented a new service to help our students and staff feel recharged. On January 30th, the Rest & Relaxation (R&R) Lounge opened at our Lakewood Campus. It is located near the Student Rec Center. The R&R Lounge provides a dark, quiet atmosphere that offers foam mats and pillows, giant bean bag chairs, and lounge chairs.

Tax Help Colorado

Get Ahead Colorado | Free Tax Preparation

Red Rocks Community College has partnered with Piton Foundation in aiding the community with Get Ahead Colorado. This free service provides tax preparation for families who make less than $55,000 a year. The Get Ahead Colorado Services will be offered every Saturday at Red Rocks Community College from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm March 16.

ribbon cutting at wheat ridge high school

Ribbon Cutting | Wheat Ridge High School

Recently, Wheat Ridge High School and the Red Rocks Community College Nurse Aide program have partnered to offer the CNA program to Wheat Ridge High School students. These are concurrent enrollment students who will earn their CNA certificates from RRCC in May. Students are enrolled in both NUA 101 and NUA 170 and complete their clinical rotations at Vivage Senior Living, which provides dedicated service to individuals needing post-acute rehabilitation or long-term care. After completion, students are eligible to take the Colorado State Board of Nursing Nurse Aide certification exam.

Best for vets 2019 by military times 2019

Military Times | Best for Vets College 2019

Military Times surveys hundreds of colleges across the country each year and ranks them in the areas of university culture, academic quality, outcomes, policies, student support, costs, and financial aid. This year, RRCC is ranked 16th among all two-year colleges in the United States.

arvada campus fitness center

Arvada Campus | Fitness Center

The Arvada Campus Fitness Center opened on February 18. The Fitness Center is located in the 5400 Building. Amenities include resistance training, dumbbells, kettlebells, and cardio machines. The hours are from 7:00 am to 8:30 am, 11:00 am to 1:00 pm, and 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm Monday through Friday.

Healthy Minds Resource Center

HMRC | Room 1577

The Healthy Minds Resource Center is the new home to the existing Peer Counseling Program. The Healthy Minds Resource Center promotes the emotional well-being of students by providing peer support through private peer-to-peer coaching, stress relief activities, campus and community resources, and a safe non-judgmental space that is focused on mental health and emotional well-being. The Healthy Minds Resource Center came about in response to student surveys and focus groups aimed at improving the Peer Counseling Program and the services it offers. The Peer Counseling Program will continue to perform the role it has in the past, but will now be housed within this Resource Center.

January 2019

Arvada Chamber Bootcamp

Bootcamp | Arvada Chamber

The Red Rocks Community College Arvada Campus is now hosting a management training program. Aimed at local business owners who want to become better leaders, the program is held One day a month for 10 months. They are from various disciplines: retail, real estate, commercial, non-profit and faith-based. On January 10, 2019, Dr. Michele Haney, was one of three speakers asked to be on a panel to talk about "Strategic thinking, planning, and leadership." To share her insight and mentorship for those local business owners.


Cyber Security

Program | Cyber Security

Red Rocks Community College has a Cyber Security team whose mission is to advance learning with hands-on cyber security competitions. These competitions allow members to test their skills in real-world scenarios. On January 26, 2019, our Cyber Security team participated in the Rocky Mountain Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (RMCCDC) qualifying event, where they finished in first play. They competed against, CU Boulder, CSU, Colorado School of Mines, University of New Mexico, US Air Force Academy, Pikes Peak Community College, LDS Business College (Salt Lake City), Utah Valley University, University of Wyoming, and Regis University. They move on to the regional event at Regis University in March!

IPE arvada campus

Collaborations | Across Campus

The Physicians Assistant Program and our Nursing Program team up throughout the semester for real-life scenario training, including well checks, sick visits, emergency room visits, and crisis situations. Law Enforcement and Emergency Medical Services team up for scenario training, including situations which may result in the use of pepper spray, accidents, assaults, and first responder training. Our Theatre and IDEA lab team up for performances. In preparation for the upcoming theatre production, She Kills Monsters, our theatre technology students and staff worked with members of the IDEA lab, to create the 3D printed dragon that will be used in the play.

HLC Visit

HLC | Update

In response to the recent HLC visit, we have received wonderful news that Red Rocks Community College met every core component and every criterion WITHOUT any concerns. Thank you to all of those that worked on the committee to prepare us for the visit.

Theatre Arts students

Theatre Arts | Regionals

A number of Theatre Arts and Dance students have been chosen to participate in the regional Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival to be held at the University of Oregon in Eugene in February. The students were selected by festival respondents based on their performances and technical work connected to the fall production of The House of Yes, written by Wendy MacLeod and directed by David-Matthew Barnes.

LEA Graduation

LEA | Graduation

The Law Enforcement Academy held a graduation ceremony on December 11. Congratulations to all of the cadets that went through the program were hired on to Colorado Law Enforcement agencies, and have begun their career protecting and serving the citizens of Colorado. The Red Rocks Community College Law Enforcement Academy is an intensive instructional program that satisfies the Colorado Peace Officer Standards and Training Board (POST) certification requirements.* Colorado Law requires that candidates for peace officer and parole positions be POST certified before they work as a law enforcement officer. Our graduates have gone on to join police departments, sheriff’s offices, and state agencies.

December 2018

Tsukuba Business College in Japan

Sister College | Developing Exchanges

On Monday, September 24, 2018, we welcomed guests from the Tsukuba Business College in Japan. The purpose of the visit was to explore the possibility of creating a sister college relationship with RRCC in the hope of developing student and faculty exchanges. While at RRCC, they enjoyed presentations from Linda Yazdani (International Exchanges), Joseph Murdock (Cyber Security), Wendy Bird (Business and Service Learning), and Delia Ochoa (AutoCAD). Tsukuba Business College is located northeast of Tokyo. The college specializes in Bridal Business, Integrated Business, Information Systems, Game Processing, Medical Office Assisting, and Visual Design.

PA Graduation 2018

PA Graduation | Class of 2018

Congratulations to the new graduates of our Physician Assistant Program. Their graduation ceremony was held on September 7th at the Arvada Center for the Arts.

Get it Done Breakfast

9th Annual | Get it Done Breakfast

Thank you to everyone who attended the AWRSAY’s 9th Annual Get it Done Breakfast, which was held Friday, September 28th at the Arvada Campus. AWRSAY stands for Arvada Wheat Ridge Service Ambassadors for Youth. This volunteer-driven organization provides support to students in the Arvada/Wheat Ridge area who have overcome a major life obstacle or adversity. They provide grants for students in grades 6-11 to help further their education/life, as well as provide scholarships for high schools seniors to attend RRCC.

Open Forum

LGBTQ Center | Ranked #4

Congratulations to our Inclusion and Diversity department. Ranked #4 By Best of the Best Community Colleges for being LGBTQ friendly. The LGBTQ Center at RRCC is a space for LGBTQIA+ community members and allies to come together to share resources, support, and discussion about topics relevant to the community.

Dr. Joe Garcia

Dr. Joe Garcia | Development Day

We were honored to have Dr. Joe Garcia join us as a guest speaker on the RRCC Lakewood campus on October 16th. Joe is the new president of the Colorado Community College System, as well as the former Lt. Governor of Colorado. As part of the All-College Development Day, Joe shared with the audience of RRCC faulty and staff personal stories about the obstacles he overcame as a student and how higher education played a key role in his path to success.

Dan Thoren

Dan Thoren | Donor Lunch

Dan Thoren, of Barber-Nichols Inc, was presented the Champions of Education Award by President Haney, BOD President Tom Menk, and Ron Slinger at the RRCC Donor Luncheon on October 12th.